Six, or so, months ago my brother said to me… I’m gonna run a 1/2 marathon to benefit the leukemia/lymphoma society. Under most circumstances with many people (especially in his particular place in life -ie haven’t run since high school) I may have done a double take and said something to the affect of “are-you-fucking-serious??? uuuummmm… you do realize that involves running right?? you know… that exercise thing where you pound yourself against the pavement at multiple times the force of gravity until your joints scream at you that they are vacating the premises and you are an asshole…. that running right???”
But because it was my brother, and because he is the man he is, with his own particular view on the the world and the way things should be handled to get past hurdles, I looked at him, and while I admit I thought those things, said… that’s pretty rad, do you want to go to the gym with me to ease yourself into a routine until your body is used to exercising again? At first he was reluctant and I was a bit pushy. But a couple miles and some serious ankle and knee pain convinced him I may have know just a little bit. I will be the first person to tell you I struggle with the exercise gremlins, but I go. Not because I want to be in shape but because I need to go… my sanity depends on it. And I think my brother has discovered the same. It helps. But none of this matters right now, the point is, he is going, and working and fighting the pain (which he discovered was a reality, right away – think searing burning swelling ankle and knee pain) for something he committed to. My bro is a fukin rock star. He has been my hero for a long time for many reasons. I think I’ve said before that we have come full circle and went from not just disliking each other but flat out hostility, to being close enough to be real. That is rare in this world of twitter-tweeting, social networked bullshit where actual conversations cause people to become physically ill. But we can. It is not always easy, in fact when you have to be real and throw down that conversation that you know is going to hurt but no one else can say it, you do and it sucks, but you do.
So on Sunday my brother will fight through the pain. He will think about a child and our Pepere and Brother in law. He will gather all the strength he has push through the physical pain and overcome a physical challenge to match some of the many mental challenges he’s overcome in his life. I can’t be there in person, he wouldn’t see me if I was. But when he hits the starting-line at 6am with 40,000 other runners, I will be thinking about him. And even though the day before will have been my birthday and who knows what state my body will be in, I will be awake, sending all the positive healing energy I have to him. I will be thinking about what he’s accomplished and how far he’s come, not just with running but in his life. I will be thinking about how much he does for me and how much he means to me and how incomplete my life would be without him.
… less than three
Rock & Roll Marathon, San Diego, June 5th